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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Cigar City Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
89 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
89
Ratings:
635
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.08%
 
 
Wants:
378
Gots:
166
For Trade:
14
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cjgator3 on 06-16-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 635
Photo of FBarber
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a barrel aged snifter - blind tasting.

Pours a dark mahogany with a thin tan head. Crisp color in spite of the deep dark hue. Head slowly dissipates leaving a thin tan lacing along the top. Bit dark for the style.

Smell was of raisins, blackcurrant, dark fruits and chocolate. Kind of a woody-boozy undertone is noted.

Taste opens with a nice woody boozy character giving way to rotes of raisins, blackcurrants, dark fruits, and chocolate cake. The Chocolate cake taste threw me for a loop, but it really works here. Undertones of vanilla (from the barrel) and a musty cellar like note was noticed - that musty cellar smell definitely comes from the barrel and was quite good in this.

Feel was very mellow and smooth. Clearly this had been aged for some time and given the opportunity to really mellow and mesh. medium carbonation keeps it crisp and sprightly.

Overall this was tasted as part of a blind tasting of five barrel aged wee heaves - this one stood out as a very unique example of the style. The chocolate cake notes were unusual but worked and added a depth to the beer that was very nice. Bit on the dark side for the style, but thats a minor quibble.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Cigar City tulip snifter bulb glass.

A muddy slightly body appearance, deep in mahogany and a bit of a purple/reddish tinge to it. There is some fine carbonation on the sides that can be seen, with a head creation that is very minimal and hardly existent even off a centre pour. Light tan, quite a big bubbled collar, with a small top.

Very nice aroma. Thick soft malt qualities, lots of interesting fruit tones from raisin to dark wine grape character. Really big round aromas, slightly oaky in a woody cedar like way, mild toffee and thicker caramel, a slight bit of milky chocolate makes its way out as well. Real enjoyable.

Palate is quite interesting and a bit distinct if unusual. Rich and milky toffee caramel aromas, with a lighter sensing body that actually has a hint of flattened carbonation to it. Chewy sensing candy bar and caramel flavors, but also large fruit tones of raisin and grape not unlike was suggesting on the nose. Finishes a bit prickly, and has a lighter malt presence but also mild sensing booze. Warmth brings out some milky chocolate tones with some vanilla barrel aging qualities as well. Real nicely melded, if a bit lighter malt backbone than expected.

Very different wee heavy that seems to have taken a different turn than I was expecting, that is real impressive in a way. Still a very nice and enjoyable wee heavy by far.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not getting much of the scotch ale base. But the bourbon barrel aging more than makes up for that. There is a nice vanilla note as well as the oak and bourbon.

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Photo of Lapalou
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 version on draft @ Marriott pre- beer week. Light black pour with a nice 2 finger white creamy head. Not much aroma. Taste is big sound with a vanilla background. Nice creamy mouthfeel, much more so than original big sound. Almost like a nitro pour. As it warms a lingering bourbon backend with subtle oak notes. But really a smooth drinking BA scotch ale with a good vanilla notes. Impressive draft beer .

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Photo of IckyT2012
4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Full disclosure: this is my white wale I've been hunting for years. But this is unquestionably the greatest scotch ale I have ever tasted, barrel aged or otherwise. Decadently balanced, nowhere near too boozy. It actually drinks smoother than the base beer. Everything I hoped for here!

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Held onto this one for well over a year. Let's see what she did. 750 ml bottle into a tulip.

A - Very dark out of the bottle. If I didn't know any better I would guess imperial stout or porter. It's not black, but it's a very dark, opaque brown. Tight khaki bubbles on top, down to a small layer. Lacing is lovely. Best looking scotch ale I've ever seen.

N - It's sitting about a foot from my face while I typed the appearance, and I've been getting tons of bourbon. With my nose in the glass I get more of the same. Sweet caramel and vanilla, some booze. Yum.

T - Yes! Classic scotch ale goodness, plenty of malt, with a bit of smoke. The bourbon is dominating, but it also brings out the scotch flavors. Not at all bitter, and not very boozy. I think the year really made a difference.

M - Thick, frothy, and lots of tingles on the tongue. By the time it gets down to the dregs it's positively chewy. This is a really impressive beer.

O - I'll admit that I've never been blown away by a CCBC beer, but now I have been. Can't wait to crack the Hunahpu I have sitting in the cellar.

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Photo of Houser
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours this ugly and beautiful mahogany, yes, at the same time. smell is toffee, bourbon, caramel and taste is much of the same but mellowed. i really enjoyed this one, but fell slightly short of the original hype.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish, black which is a function of the Barrel probably. I get a lot of bourbon in the nose with only a slight amount of sweet malt smell. Slightly sweet in the beginning but the oaky, smooth alcohol flavor takes over in a good way. Nice thick feel for a scotch ale. A real pleasure to drink this bad boy.

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Photo of chinchill
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At the RBWG-2015.
Cloudy brown south a limited head.
Plenty of bbl effect. Perhaps a tad too sweet.
Thick full Syrupy body with medium light carbonation.
Lots of whisky [Heaven Hill? ).

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with lightly tan colored head. Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, oak, and some dark fruits on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with sweetness, and a bourbon warmth. Very complex.

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Photo of winningwes91
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours out a murky brown color. Smell seems like muted Carmel and bourbon with some oak in the back. Taste is a completely different story. A huge pop of Carmel candy soaked bourbon in the front end with the nice oak and tobacco notes in the end. Yum. Nice and full mouthfeel. Probably my favorite wee/scotch ale to date.

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Photo of floridadrift
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Happy Birthday to Roland.

A: Dark blackish brown body with bone white head. Beautiful

T: So good. One of the best I've had. Bourbon compliments but doesnt take away from the Scotch Ale itself with its sweetness and figs and dates and vanilla oaky-ness.

M: Creamy and perfect to the swallow.

O: Try to find this, its worth it. Or find it next year. A gentlemen's upgrade to the original Big Sound.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

From 10/28/14 notes. 750ML bottle poured into my Cigar City snifter.

Pours a deep mahogany brown color with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Lots of bourbon, raisins, chocolate, caramel malts, toffee, toasted malts, and some burnt malts. Taste has more dark fruits and caramel. Medium body and low carbonation, the body is SUPER smooth and creamy...no heat at all and crazy easy to drink.

Overall I really like this one; I thought it was great and one of the better scotch ales I've ever had. I like the base beer and this is an improvement. I love how much flavor there is and how good the bourbon is yet this is still drinkable and not hot at all...very impressive. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of mikepcarney
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I initially had this ranked up higher, but after having it next to Wulver I had to lower my score. Anyone who has had this needs to have Thirsty Dog's Wulver and you will be blown away. This is a very good beer, but side by side it just doesn't hang.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Out of a bomber into my tulip.
A – Deep and dark. Tiny bit of light chocolate head that dissipated quickly. Leaves almost no lacing.
S – Bourbon and lots of it. Sweet molasses and syrup.
T – Nice strong bourbon flavor floods this one. Not nearly as sweet as the nose. Traces of molasses, toffee, brown sugar and vanilla. As it warms up you get a nice caramel flavor as well. Great mix of the sweet flavors and bourbon make you feel the ABV but no real burn.
M – Lightly carbonated with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
O – Yep it’s a hit in my book. Love the bourbon flavor and the mix of sweet. Do yourself a favor and let this one warm up. It’s worth the wait.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

bottle from a trade - you can tell from the first hit of the nose, immediately after taking the cap off, that it's outstanding. Thick toffee and dark fruit and caramel, and bourbon, vanilla, chocolate from the barrel. Strongly sweet on the back end. One of the better barrel aged beers out there. Another Cigar City success.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

A: murky brown body with a slim filmy cap that slipped quickly into a thin collar

S: boozy dark fruits and figs and dates; toffee sweetness; vanilla and wood bourbon notes

T: dates soaked in bourbon whiskey; rich dark fruits richly fermenting; lush and plush and earthy and rustic; vanilla and liquor, brown sugar caramel and toffee; evades being too sweet

M: solid medium weight, subtle carbonation, smooth but with some tingle of spice; drying vapors in the roof of the mouth

O: this was a no-brainer - the Scotch ale's sugar character and fruit impressions are a natural setting for bourbon barrel aging - the vanilla and booze of the bourbon, plus the drying of the barrel vapors creates a decadent fruity array of aroma, flavor and feel.

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Photo of timc100
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%

Pours dark for a scotch ale - great creamy beige head. Fantastically rich aroma of toffee, caramel, bourbon, oak, oaky vanilla and sweet brown sugar and some very light sweet smoke. A lot of chocolate as it warms Very rich whiskey and caramel. Tastes very smooth - rich barrel, whiskey, and scotch ale flavors. Finishes with booze, toffee, caramel, and chocolate. Crazy, but brings positive dark lord qualities to mind.

CCB kills another BA beer. They are at the top of the game, and this is outstanding.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Total Wine right near the brewery in Tampa. Pours dark brown color with a big khaki head on top. Big whiskey aromas, vanilla, caramel, molasses, oak. The bourbon is strong with this one. Big rich vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, molasses, bourbon is so smooth here. Lots of wood as well. Big and rich mouthfeel as usual from these guys, low plus carbonation, oh yeah. Another beautiful barrel aged beer from CCB. Yum.

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Photo of silverking
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- opaque black with a cola colored rim. Thin, creamy khaki head with good retention and beautiful lacing.

S- intense aromas of bourbon and oak intermingled with toffee and dried dates. Really intense. It has a slightly smoky edge to it.

T- just like the aroma, oak dominates. Lots of toffee and raisin, and dates as well. I get a nondescript nuttiness as well. A lot of alcohol is present, giving an intense warming effect.

M- thick, rich and creamy. Light carbonation. Warming.

O- a very solid release from Cigar City.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Bob at Curran's tasting.

Pours a clear dark brown, sort of the color of caramel, with a half inch head, and only the smallest amount of lacing.

Smells like caramel, bourbon, some toasted malt, and toffee.

Great taste here. Some peat smoke, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, burnt sugar, and a slightly boozey twinge. Some vanilla and coconut flavors from the barreling, as well.

Medium bodied, slick and smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable, because of the low amount of present alcohol.

Another great one, this night killed me.

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Photo of jlindros
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One I cracked at the CCB bottle share, thanks to mposha (Reddit) for sharing.

Decent creamy fizzy head, dark molasses brown color.

Nose sweet malts, some bourbon and vanilla barrel notes, cognac fruit and sweet malt, toffee, candy dark fruit, toffee, etc.

Taste sweet candy malts, toffee, caramel, juicy barrel and bourbon juice, toffee, caramel, dark candied fruits and a little nutty.

Mouth fuller bod, decent but lighter carb, some warming booze.

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Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice clear dark brown hue with a thin mocha halo.

S - Aromas of bourbon, malts, caramel.

T - Taste is sweet, raisin bourbon, malts, delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy, lightly carbonated.

O - Overall this beer was tasty, super smooth.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 1.25.14

A - Pours a motor oil black with a foamy light brown head that just sits there.

S - Lots of chocolate up-front, then some bourbon, sweet.

T - Sweet bourbon, then caramel and vanilla follow.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Sweet, but nice flavors hit you in layers. Good stuff.

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Photo of shand
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage.

Bourbon Barrel Big Sound is bourbony, oaky, velvety smooth goodness. This is one of the first times I've had a BBA beer that actually tempers the sweetness of the base beer. Big Sound off the shelf is tasty, but runs a touch too sweet for me. Somehow this is better. The mouthfeel is outstanding here, it's got a medium-bodied, ridiculously velvety feel. Basically, BBA Big Sound is amazing.

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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.